Just in time for the holiday shopping season, a public-interest group alleges that unsafe amounts of lead have been found in fidget spinners sold at Target.
The US Public Interest Research Group, which produces an annual report about risky toys, released data on two fidget spinners sold at Target stores - the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass and the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal - on Thursday, saying that both gadgets contained excessive lead levels.
The Target page for Fidget Wild Spinner Premium Brass does indeed say it's for people 14 and older, though The Washington Post reported that the fidget spinner's manufacturer labeled them for anyone at least six years old. The center circle of the "Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Metal" was tested for 1,300 ppm of lead and the arm tested for 520 ppm of lead.
The toy remains on Target shelves, as the companies defend their product with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's declaration that fidget spinners are not technically "children's products" subject to legal limits for lead. "So, Target needs to immediately stop selling the toys that contain high amounts of lead, and issue a recall for those that they've already sold". "As a result", the spokesperson wrote, "the fidget spinners identified are not regulated as toys or children's products and are not required to meet children's product standards".
Earlier, the retailer sold the spinners, which are classified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as "general use" products and not as children's toys.
The U.S. PIRG report, however, addresses Target's defense: "U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff found these fidget spinners sold in the toy aisle of Target stores and on the Target.com website, which includes a statement that the product is intended for children ages 6 and up".More news: Magnitude 7.2 natural disaster strikes near Halabjah, Iraq
"All fidget spinners have play value as children's toys regardless of labeling", Cook-Shultz said.
"The reason that lead is a large concern - especially in children's products - is that when children are exposed to high levels of lead they can experience things like memory loss, learning disabilities", she said.
The company noted that CPSC is responsible for how the toys are categorized.
A warning for parents and fidget spinner users. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to undermine IQ, attentiveness and academic achievement.
The CPSC did not return calls seeking comment on Friday. "A toy that has 33,000 parts per million of lead in it represents a hazard to a child".